Here’s the official G-8 Communique (PDF! 33pgs)

The ever-intrepid, Pepe Escobar, had penned another excellent read…

Obama’s weapons-for-peace program

They looked like two dejected schoolboys in front of the headmaster by the end of the two-hour Putin-Obama summit at the sidelines of the Group of Eight meeting in Northern Ireland. But as astonishing as the sound of silence was the fact that, on Syria, the former KGB guy was trying to save the “leading from behind” dude from himself.

President Barack Obama coined the monster euphemism that they had “different perspectives” on Syria. He said, deceptively, “We want to try to resolve the issue through political means if possible, so we will instruct our teams to continue to work on the potential of a Geneva follow-up.”

If Obama was really trying to solve Syria “through political means” he would not have pre-emptively bombed the Geneva II talks with his “weapons-for-peace” program, as in weaponizing only the “good” Syrian “rebels” and only with a few “non-lethal” toys (that’s the bottom line of Washington’s spin). “If possible” in this case does translate into “impossible”. As for the Geneva II talks, they don’t rate anything better than “potential” because Obama knows the myriad, squabbling factions of the Syrian opposition will boycott it. {snip}

…Putin knows Obama would even give up playing basketball if he could find a way to sneak out of getting bogged in Syria’s civil war. Putin knows Obama simply cannot order a no-fly zone over Syria by decree – as much as he may be under pressure by the usual warmonger senators, armchair warrior think tankers, corporate media and weapons manufacturers.

…Yet Putin is certainly aware of Washington’s Plan C or D for Syria; what is being sold as a “humanitarian assistance”, limited, no-fly zone – along parts of the Jordanian and Turkish borders into Syrian territory. This is in fact Libya 2.0; a “limited” no-fly zone in a flash will apply to all Syria. “Limited no-fly zones” only exist in Spinland; this is a declaration of war. So let’s see how Damascus plays it with the S-300 missile batteries it will receive from Russia…

Now, Col. Lang, in several great posts, the first… Obama’s approaching humiliation over Syria, and then… “Assad foes cannot set conditions for Syria talks: Russia” Reuters

…Morning Joe Scarborough, the dumbest man in morning television, said today that the Syrian government is “one of the two worst enemies of the United States in the Middle East.”

Say what?

Joe has been living in New York City for a long time now. I guess there is something in the water… No, Joe, Syria is viewed by ISRAEL as one of its two greatest enemies in the Middle East. Israel and the US are two different countries, Joe. Separate sovereign countries usually have at least some differing interests. Tell me. Joe, how is Syria a major threat to the US? Terrorism? When was that? Where was that? Remind me.

In any event, Russia has made it clear now that it will not accept a phony conference in which the Syrian government show up to surrender Sounds like “check” to me. “Mate” is coming…

Interestingly, The Hill reported this bovine manure from the Senate, yesterday…

Senators pledge ‘full support’ for ‘decisive’ military action in Syria

Senators from both parties on Tuesday urged President Obama to immediately send weapons to the Syrian opposition and take out President Bashar Assad’s air forces.
Syria is at a “critical juncture” and the United States must do what it can to reverse Assad’s recent gains on the ground, the chairmen of the Foreign Relations and Armed Forces panels, Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.), wrote in a letter to Obama along with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

The senators pledged their “full support” if Obama takes “decisive military actions in Syria.”

The lawmakers called on the president to send arms to vetted rebel groups, but said such a move would likely be insufficient because the situation is “deteriorating so dramatically.”

Ironically, on the floor of the House, yesterday, the vile Louis Gohmert had this to say…

‘Entangling Alliances’ ya don’t say…? Speaking of which…

8,000 troops from 19 countries join Jordan ‘war games’ in readiness for spreading Syria conflict

…Despite many of the nations involved in the exercises explicitly calling for Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad departure, there are concerns that should he be forced from power, Damascus’s stockpile of chemical weapons could fall into the hands of extremist groups. Several Western countries allege that Assad has already used chemical weapons, a fact that US President Barack Obama describes as crossing a “red line”. At the same time, conventional weapons in civil war have already killed at least 93,000 people.

US Marine Corps Lt. Col. Duke Shienle told the Associated Press that Syria “is a concern that all our regional partners share”.

The Syrian crisis is “causing all military in the region to increase intensity,” he said. The training has been concentrated on security, irregular warfare, terrorism and counterinsurgency.

“These exercises bolster our defence capabilities,” said Jordanian army Maj. Gen. Awni Edwan, adding that similar exercises are routine, having being held twice before at the same time. “We don’t intend to attack anybody,” he said.

Now, here’s an excellent insight into recent WH happenings…

“There was a palpable fear of the [Assad] regime’s triumph.”

…The fall of the key town of Qusayr to Assad’s forces, in which Hezbollah played a major role, led to panic in the Administration, according to well-placed US officials. When it became clear that the rebels were about to be routed, an emergency “Deputies Meeting” was held at the White House on Sunday June 9. Three days later a “Principals Meeting” was convened and from that meeting came the decision to begin providing US arms to the rebels. “It was a political gesture made in the face of fears that the fall of Qusayr would lead to rebel setbacks in Aleppo and Homs,” says this official. “There was a palpable fear of the [Assad] regime’s triumph.” Says another US official, “There is no doubt that Qusayr was a “game changer” for us.”

From the AEI’s Danielle Pletka, in FP… Rebel Whimper: Obama’s Syria policy is a riddle wrapped in an enigma surrounding nothing.

Here’s a recent interview with Assad… F.A.Z.-Interview with Bashar al-Assad “Europe’s backyard would become a terrorist haven”

It truly is… The Road to Nowhere Good!

Moving along to Iran, in spite of Iran’s recent election of ‘moderate’ Rohani…

AIPAC warns on Iranian president-elect Rohani

Israel lobby says Ahmadinejad replacement “has signaled no willingness to halt Iran’s illicit nuclear program”.

In a memo to supporters, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee expressed deep suspicion of Iranian President-Elect Hassan Rohani, saying that he “has signaled no willingness to halt Iran’s illicit nuclear program.”

The powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington said the Iranian people voted for Rohani because they saw him as the best chance for sanctions relief.

But, “even as Rohani has promised better relations with the West, he has also strongly backed the continuation of Iran’s nuclear program,” the group said.

“More fundamentally,” the memo continued, “there is no indication that Supreme Leader Khamenei will limit his absolute control over Iran’s nuclear policy. Even if Rohani wished to change the country’s policy, he may have no ability to do so.”

What absolute rubbish, already overtures were made…Lavrov: Iran ready to stop 20% enrichment Russian FM says that for ‘first time in many years’ there are encouraging signs in efforts to resolve Iranian nuclear dispute…

As the dynamic duo of Flynt and Hillary Leverett wrote recently…

After Rohani’s Election: How Washington Should Engage Iran

First, Washington must accept the Islamic Republic as an enduring political entity representing legitimate national interests. Virtually since the Islamic Republic’s creation out of the Iranian Revolution, American elites have declared it is an illegitimate order, so dysfunctional and despised by its own population as to be at imminent risk of overthrow.

In reality, the Islamic Republic is a legitimate order for most Iranians living in Iran. Its animating idea—the ongoing project of integrating Islamist governance and participatory politics—appeals not just in Iran, but to Muslim societies across the Middle East. Despite decades of military, clandestine, and international economic pressure, it has achieved more progressive developmental outcomes—e.g., in alleviating poverty, delivering health care, expanding educational access, and (yes) improving opportunities for women—than the Shah’s regime ever did, and has done better in these areas than its neighbors (including U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia and Turkey)…

Second, Washington must deal with the Islamic Republic as a system, and stop trying to play Iran’s public against its government. On a positive note, the White House press statement about the Iranian presidential election refers to Iran by its official name—“Islamic Republic,” something the Obama administration has refused to do since 2009. But the statement does not congratulate Rohani; it congratulates the Iranian people “for their participation in the political process, and their courage in making their voices heard…against the backdrop of a lack of transparency, censorship of the media, Internet, and text messages, and an intimidating security environment.” Such a posture will not facilitate productive diplomacy after Rohani takes office…

Third, Washington must recognize Iran’s legal right, as a sovereign state and as a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to enrich uranium under international safeguards. As we wrote last month, “If Washington recognized Iran’s right to enrich, a nuclear deal with Tehran could be reached in a matter of weeks”; but “as long as Washington refuses to acknowledge Tehran’s nuclear rights, no substantial agreement will be possible.” This will be no less true under President Rohani than it has been previously…

Fourth, Washington must stop cooperating with Saudi Arabia and others to spread violent, al-Qa’ida-like Sunni extremism across the Middle East as part of an ill-conceived strategy for containing Iran. This strategy is currently on display in Syria, where, from the onset of unrest in 2011, the Obama administration has sought to use an opposition increasingly manned and supported by foreigners to overthrow the Assad government and damage Tehran’s position. The administration is now stepping up support for the opposition—saying explicitly this is intended to prevent Tehran and its allies from “winning” in Syria…

Speaking of Syria, they also posted this excellent article today… Obama Chooses Intensified but Strategically Useless Violence over Serious Diplomacy in Syria…

In wrapping up, in Turkey today…

Turkey PM claims victory over protests

TURKISH Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed victory over anti-government protesters after a heavy crackdown, as police raided homes and arrested dozens of demonstrators in a bid to stamp out nearly three weeks of unrest…

…”Our democracy has been tested again and came out victoriously,” the premier told members of his ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) to roaring applause.

“The people and the AKP government have foiled the plot … hatched by traitors and their foreign accomplices.”

Confident he has weathered the storm, he warned against any resurgence of the protests.

“From now on, there will be no question of showing any tolerance to people or organisations who engage in violent acts.”

His comments came as police carried out raids at homes across the country, detaining over 100 demonstrators.

Meanwhile, Hurriyet Daily News reported that the justice ministry was working on legislation to regulate social media.

Yet… Turkey unrest: ‘Standing Man’ inspires hundreds with silent vigil in Taksim Square
Government denies that it would restrict the use of Twitter or other social media…

How now, brown cow…?

Turkey vows to attack social media, strengthen police

Turkey’s government is working on legislation to restrict the use of Twitter and other social media, blamed for the worst unrest the country has experienced in decades.

The Turkish justice ministry is putting together a bill on Internet crime, which will also include sections on social media, according to local media…

…Addressing legislators of his Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party, Erdogan said riot police deployed to disperse protesters had acted with restraint and said their powers would be increased, allowing them more leeway in dealing with future protests.

“Our security forces put up a successful and extremely patient struggle against the acts of violence, by remaining within the limits set by democracy and the law,” Erdogan said.

Since the protests began at the end of May, Erdogan has lashed out at social media, calling it a “troublemaker in societies” and criticizing lies he says have been spread by people using Twitter…

“We have a study on those who provoke the public via manipulations with false news and lead them to actions that would threaten the security of life and property by using Twitter, Facebook or other tools of social media,” Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Güler was quoted in the Turkish paper, the Hurriyet Daily News, as saying on Monday.

“Still, we think that the issue needs a separate regulation,” he added…

Good Gawd…! *gah*